Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zechariah

Zechariah 4-6, Visions of Future Glory
Introduction:

Zechariah is still receiving his repeated visions from the Lord. In the first three chapters we saw the visions speak of encouragement for the present, then move to encouragement in the promise of the Messiah. In chapters 4-6 I believe we see the same movement. The early visions of chapter four are going to give encouragement to the people for the present fulfillment of God’s blessings. But as we move closer to chapter 6, we will see the visions begin to give encouragement concerning the promised future fulfillment of God’s blessings through Jesus Christ.

Chapter 4 - Vision of the Gold Lampstand and Two Olive Trees
The lampstand (4:1-10)
Chapter 4 opens with the angel who had been talking with Zechariah in the previous visions returning to him and asking him what he sees. Zechariah responds that he sees a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it. Further, Zechariah sees two olive trees by it, one on each side. Zechariah then asks the angel what these things are, or more correctly, what do these things mean. The lampstand here is something that would have been well known to the Jews. The Hebrew word for “lampstand” is menorah and it is the word used of the lampstand that was to be placed in the tabernacle as instructed by God in Exodus 25 and 37. However, there are a couple of distinguishing attributes of this lampstand that Zechariah sees versus that which was in the tabernacle. The lampstand that Zechariah sees has a bowl at the top of it. Further, this lampstand has seven channels feeding into it so that oil could be poured into it from the two olive branches (4:12).

The angel gives to answer to Zechariah this is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (4:6). The lampstand and its oil represents the word of the Lord. In this case it is the word of the Lord which is to be given to Zerubbabel. The message of the word of the Lord is “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.” The vision to Zechariah is a message of encouragement to Zerubbabel. Remember that Zerubbabel was the leader of the first return of the exiles from captivity in 536 B.C. Under his leadership he was working with the people to rebuild the temple. The temple foundation was quickly laid, but because of political problems the temple was never completed. Sixteen years have now passed and the temple is still not completed. Imagine the discouragement Zerubbabel must have felt in trying to get the people to work for 16 years without any success. The word of the Lord has come to tell Zerubbabel it is God’s will to complete the work. The temple will be finished not because of human might or power, but through the will of God. The Lord proves His point in verse 7 by saying that the mighty mountain has been level ground. Thus, all of the obstacles which were standing in the way of the temple’s completion are now removed. Further, Zerubbabel will be part of the finishing process, for he will lay the capstone of the temple. In verses 8-10 we see that the word of the Lord explicitly tells us that this is the meaning of the lampstand. Zerubbabel had laid the foundation to the temple and now he will be able to finish the work. Nothing will stop the work for God has purposed its completion. There would be great joy and the shouts of “grace to it” when Zerubbabel pick up the plumb line and finished the work.

The two olive trees (4:11-14)
But Zechariah wants to know the meaning of the two olive branches which are standing to the right and left of the lampstand. The angel responds that these two branches are “the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” The general consensus among commentators is that these two anointed ones are Joshua and Zerubbabel. Joshua, acting as the high priest for the people, was to be anointed according to the law. The king, inferred to be Zerubbabel who was acting as governor, was also to be anointed according to the law. I believe this interpretation has some difficulties, which James Burton Coffman expresses in his commentary. The difficulties to me are twofold. First, Zerubbabel was not king and was not an anointed one in the sense of the vision. Further, how can it be that Zerubbabel and Joshua are the branches feeding the oil to the lampstand, which we have noticed is the word of God? Second, Revelation 11:4-6 uses the same description of the two olive branches but gives us more description. There we see that the two who stand before the Lord are those who “have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have the power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire” (Revelation 11:6). These seem to be obvious descriptions of powers exerted by Elijah and Moses, respectively. These two are a representation of the law and prophets. This makes more sense that these two are the ones providing the oil into the lampstand in the vision. The law and the prophets are the word of God and the promises of God’s word were now going to come to pass. That which had been prophesied by previous prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel concerning a rebuilding is now in the process of taking place. This understanding helps round out the meaning of the vision. God’s word would come to pass and the promises of God would be upheld. Zerubbabel’s work would be accomplished. God was leveling the obstacles that stood in the way of His people serving Him.

Chapter 5
Vision of the flying scroll (5:1-4)
Zechariah now looks and sees a flying scroll. The scroll’s length was 30 feet and its width was 15 feet. It is interesting to note at the least that these are the same dimensions as the porch of Solomon built before the entrance of the temple. The flying scroll is also the same dimensions as the Holy Place of the tabernacle. Since the size is the same as these two things, we are likely seeing the communication of the law and holiness in these dimensions. The flying scroll represents the curse that goes over the whole land against those who steal and those who swear falsely. In this vision we have a reminder that sin will not be tolerated and warning against those who would be careless with the law of God. The people of Israel had been in captivity for 70 years because of such carelessness and it seems that some of the people were relapsing into those same errors.

Vision of a woman in a basket (5:5-11)
Zechariah now looks and sees a basket that is going out. This basket represented the iniquity in the land. As Zechariah is looking, he sees the lead lid of the basket lifted and inside is a woman. The woman represents wickedness, is thrust back into the basket, and the lid is thrust back down. Two women come and lifted up the basket between heaven and earth. Zechariah asks where the two women are taking the basket. The angel responds that it is going to the land of Shinar, to build a house for it.

This vision has a couple of points to understand. First, we see the removal of the sins of the people. Their sins had been very great and grievous against the Lord, causing His anger to burn hot and destroy them. The people have returned from their punishment in captivity and now God is showing them that those sins have been removed and taken to a far away land. The other point that seems to be made in the vision is that there is a growing wickedness developing in Shinar. Shinar is known as the first world kingdom found by Nimrod in Genesis 10:10-11. But Shinar was also a reference to Babylon. Though by this point Babylon had been conquered by Persia, Shinar and Babylon still stood as a reference for the world nations of wickedness that stand against God. In Revelation we see the use of the name Babylon to represent a wicked world power that stood against God’s kingdom. In this vision we are getting a glimpse that the evil powers have not been destroyed completely yet, even though the people’s sins are removed and they are building in Jerusalem.

Chapter 6
The vision of four chariots (6:1-8)
Zechariah now looks and sees four chariots coming from between two mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horse, the second had black horses, the third had white horses, and the fourth had dappled horses. Zechariah asks the angel what these are. The angel responds that these are the going out of the four winds of heaven. They are also described as those who patrol the earth, as seen earlier in Zechariah 1. The use of the four winds of heaven is an image of judgment. Jeremiah 49:36, “Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them toward all those winds.” In Revelation 7:1 we see the four angels standing at the four corners of the earth restraining the four winds until the servants of God were sealed. Again this was an image of holding off judgment until the people of God were marked for protection. Therefore in this vision we are seeing the judgments of God going out against the world nations. In the last vision of the woman in the basket, we saw that the wicked nations would not be shattered yet. Now, in the vision of the four chariots, we see the judgments going out against these wicked nations. In Zechariah 1 we see the horsemen patrolling the earth and reporting that all is at rest. Now we see the report that the judgments of God are being poured out. The rest of this chapter shows us how God’s judgments were coming.

The crown for Joshua (6:9-15)
We are not told that Zechariah is seeing a vision in this section. Therefore, Zechariah is performing a picture sermon, such as Ezekiel did by laying on his side for 390 days and 40 days for the sins of Israel and Judah. Zechariah is going to act out some things to represent a future glory. Zechariah is told to take silver and gold from the exiles and make a crown. Then he is to set the crown on the head of Joshua the high priest. In performing this act, Zechariah would say, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.” We have already seen the name of the Branch used in Zechariah 3:8 who would remove the sins of the people in a single day. The Branch is therefore a very clear reference to the Messiah, Jesus. Notice the descriptions of the Branch in this passage.

He shall branch out from this place. The prophecy says that the Messiah would come from among His own people. This would be a reminder of the prophecy of Isaiah who said, “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). God is reiterating His promise of the Messiah.

He shall build the temple of the Lord. Now Zechariah had already prophesied that Zerubbabel would place the capstone on the temple and complete its building. Therefore, Zechariah is prophesying of a spiritual temple that the Messiah would build. Ephesians 2:19-22 says, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

He shall bear royal honor/clothed in majesty. Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Through His sacrifice, the Messiah would receive great glory and honor.

He shall sit and rule on His throne. Acts 2:30 says, “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne.” When Christ resurrected, He sat down on the throne and began to rule in His kingdom.

He shall be a priest on His throne. This is the meaning of the action sermon of Zechariah. To place the crown on Joshua was a sign that there would be a high priest who would reign as king. Of course, under the old covenant this was not possible. The king came from the tribe of Judah and the priests came from the tribe of Levi. However, Zechariah prophesied that there would be a high priest to rule on the throne. In Hebrews 5:5-10 the writer shows us that Christ was high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was high priest of God and king of Salem, and after this order Jesus Christ would rule as king and as high priest in the house of God. This would not cause a state of war, but there would be peace and harmony as Christ would unite the two offices.

Those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the Lord. The phrase “those who are far off” is a reference to the Gentiles. In Acts 2:39 Peter said, “The promise is to you and your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Jews and Gentiles would take part in the building of the Lord’s house as all who would come to Him would be spiritual stones (1 Peter 2:5).

The chapter concludes with “and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.” This is the same structure that we saw in Zechariah 2:11. It is the Messiah speaking that the people would know that the Lord had sent him to them. This again proves that these promises were messianic and were fulfilled in the days of the Messiah.

Final Lessons
Jesus, the perfect fulfillment of prophecy
In these chapters we see that Jesus is the only person who could fulfill the prophecies made concerning the messiah. Jesus had to fulfill the law so that no curse could be placed upon Him, rendering His sacrifice ineffective. Jesus is the only person who could trace His lineage back and reign as a king and yet still offer mediation for us as a high priest. We ought to not only be in awe of the perfect life that He led, but we truly need to in awe that there was a person who could come and fulfill all of these things. The Jews did not think that the Messiah could be embodied in one person because there were so many prophecies concerning what He would do. Yet Jesus was able to be born in a little town of Bethlehem, grow up in Nazareth, accurately teaching concerning the kingdom of God, living according to the law of Moses, teach as someone who had authority from God, establish God’s kingdom through His death, resurrection, ascension, sending the Holy Spirit, and shattering the world nations. Jesus, who could ascend to heaven itself and enter the true tabernacle of God and make sacrifice for our sins on the mercy seat of God. Jesus, who could ascend into heaven itself and sit down on the throne of God and be given all power and rule. Jesus, as the only answer to the mystery of how Jews could have salvation from their sins and how Gentiles could be brought near to God, creating a new humanity and creation known as the Christian. Who else could fulfill all of these prophecies? Who else could possibly have dared to try? We see the hand of God working miraculously and providentially to bring about the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Jesus, the perfect judge of the enemies
Chapter 6 also depicts the judgment upon the enemies of God. Jesus has established His kingdom and it has already been prophesied that He will rule until all the enemies are destroyed. Many of the enemies of God have already been destroyed. History has shown the fall of Assyria, the fall of Babylon, the fall of Persian, the fall of Greece, the fall of Jewish kingdom, and the fall of Rome. All of these events were prophesied in the scriptures. Who would be crazy enough to stand against the kingdom of Jesus Christ? The outcome is sure—defeat. It is the same as what we think in our minds when we saw Iraqi armies going against the armies of the United States. Iraq was outmanned, outgunned, and resoundingly lost the battle. Those that were wise surrendered to the forces of the United States. We are outgunned and outmanned by the kingdom of God. We cannot stand against it and succeed. We may think that we are succeeding right now in living the way we like. But the outcome is assured and the battle is won. Will we be wise and surrender to the Lord? Zechariah 6:15 says, “…if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.” Surrender is not defeat. Surrender is victory for the Lord has promised to give us the spoils of His victory in Ephesians 4:7-8. Obey the Lord today and be joined with the Messiah in victory.

http://ldolphin.org/zechwagner/

Olive trees play a prominent role in scripture, not only are they the source of oil for the light in the Temple, but the doors of the Temple were made from Olive trees, as well as the carved Cherubs which covered the Mercy Seat in the Temple. (I Kings 6:23, 31-33).

The Mount of Olives, which stands opposite Jerusalem, facing the Temple’s East Gate, plays a prominent role in scripture. King David climbed the Mount of Olives crying as he was rejected by the people, in favor of his rebellious son Absalom (2 Sam. 15:30). Upon the Mount Jesus was taken into Heaven on a cloud (Acts

Jesus In The Lampstand

Light of the World
The purpose of this article is looking at the deeper things of God in His Word.  All the pieces of furniture in the tabernacle of Moses all represent something and is repeated some time in the new testament.  This page, as I receive more revelation, more will be posted. Everything points to God then ultimately Jesus.

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man . . . (Rev 1:13
Exodus 25:31 - 39
  
  • The Lamp Stand was made of Pure Gold, no dimensions were specified
  • The Candlestick was hammered out of One Piece of Pure Gold
  • Its accessories were pure golden wick trimmers and trays
  • 7 Pure Gold Lamps were on top of the Candlestick
  • The Candle Stick was made out of 1 Talent of Gold (34 kgs)

The tabernacles is divided into three (3) sections, the courtyard, the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies.  The lampstand was in the area of the sanctuary, which had a table on which were twenty loaves of bread, a golden seven-branch candlestick, or lampstand, with seven lamps, and the altar of incense, that is, an altar on which the priests burned incense.

The Holy Place illuminated by a golden lampstand which bore seven lamps. The lampstand thus had two functions: to contribute to the splendour of the Holy Place (since it was made of gold) and to give light so that the priests could minister there. The Most Holy Place had no need of light, since the presence-cloud illuminated it constantly.

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20).

The scriptures teach that the Menorah was and is esteemed of God a symbol extraordinaire.

Menorah
-The Lamp of God - The Light of God


... I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of Gold ... and his seven lamps thereon ..." (Zech. 4:2).

This lampstand symbolizes many things such as the Nation of Israel, the Church, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Seven Spirits of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ himself as "the light of the world."

The first mention of the menorah is mentioned in Exodus 25:31-40. Moses just returned from his encounter with the Lord on Mt. Sinia with instructions of the Tabernacle.

All of the furnishings of the temple including the lampstand were to be constructed according to the "pattern" of heavenly things - the heavenly blueprint.  Apparently Moses was permitted to peer into the heavenlies and there to see the divine pattern for praise, worship, and service , the system employed by the heavenly hosts themselves from the time of creation. Hebrews 8:5 speaks of this event: ". . .  John himself in Revelations 4 was actually seeing the heavenly tabernacle during the feast of Trumpets - representing the future rapture of the church. 


The number 7 - seven branches on the menorah.  Seven seemed to be used to represent an act of "completion" or "perfection" e.g. -

•Pharaoh's dream (which led to Joseph's rise to power) had 7 fat cattle and 7 starved cattle.
•The lampstand in the Temple had 7 branches (as seen today in the Menorah)
•The Israelite annual holy days were filled with measurements of 7, including the Days of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles which each have 7 days.
•There are 7 weeks between Passover and Pentecost.
•The Israelites were to give the land itself a rest every 7th year.
•The Israelites marched around Jericho for 7 days before its fall, when 7 priests blew 7 trumpets 7 times
•There are 7 recorded statements of Jesus while He was on the cross
•Coincidently or not, Jerusalem is 777 meters above sea level
•The 7 churches, with their 7 spirits, in Revelation
•The 7 stars, 7 Seals, 7 trumpets, 7 candlesticks, 7 vials of end-time prophecy.

*The knops, flowers and bowls appear to add up to seventy plus two. The number 70 plays the dominant role in Biblical expression and numerology. Concerning the candlestick the first-century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus confirms "It was made with its knops, and lilies, and pomegranates, and bowls (which orna-ments amounted to seventy in all);"

The lampstand was made to look like a tree. It had members that demonstrated the 3 stages of life:1) buds - potential 2) flowers - beauty 3) almonds - fruit

All 3 were present at the same time. The lampstand and members all pointed to the Lord. It was a "vehicle of light" of God, "I am the light of the world." The lampstand was a method of self-revelation (making God known to man). This is the purpose of "the word" in John 1:1.

The lampstand was solid gold, not gold "plated". The laver was wood and copper, The ark was wood and gold. They had 2 natures/materials due to the 2 natures of our Lord: humanity - to die (God can not die) = High Priest-know man’s infirmities God - divine to endure fires of Calvary = Priest forever.

The Process of Gold vs. the Believer

When gold is taken out of the earth, it is fit for nothing. In order to make it useable it must pass through the purifying fires. It is at this point that the impurities are removed for it is the fires where that which is pure gold is manifest. After the gold is brought to this point it can be fashioned in the hands of the gold smith. The process can be painful and take a long time, for the gold must submit to the hammers and beating work of the smith. In this process the gold has to go through a lot, but when the work is done, it is a thing of rare beauty.

This process is typical of that which God works in His Church.God, by His Spirit, is purifying and sanctifying His Church by means of fiery trials, testings and sufferings. Through it all the Church will come forth as pure gold, and it will conform to the Divine pattern that God has fore-ordained (Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53:4-5, Job 23:10, 1 Peter 1:7, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 John 3:3).

A goldsmith once pointed out, that hammering gold makes it stronger. As we are hammered into objects of usefulness and beauty, we are strengthened in Him:

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor.4:8-9).

When we are called to endure suffering, in whatever form it comes, we are sharing the suffering of Christ.

The ark pictures the Lord Jesus’ human and divine natures. The laver that of the Holy Spirit baptizing the regenerated. The pure gold lampstand = the deity of the Lord Jesus = the word of God because the word was God!

The word of God (= the Lord Jesus) was the agent of creation (Jn 1:1). Where and what was the source to create all these things?

The buds on the lampstand

The buds on the lampstand take the mind back to Aaron’s rod that budded, a picture of Christ in resurrection life. Christ is the source and vehicle God uses to provide the life of God to His own. The gold symbolizes the divine glory involved.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

The secret of success revealed in Zech 4:6 = "by my spirit, saith the LORD..." The Holy Spirit represents the oil in the lamp. The lampstand (symbol of testimony) is maintained by the HOLY SPIRIT of God. Where do we see this fulfilled in the NT?

Producing Fruit:

John 15:1-4 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

From Genesis to Revelation when you consider that it represented the presence of all truth, hence the light of the world? God informed Moses that the Menorah was to be located in what was known as the "Holy Place" in the sanctuary of God.

It was the only source of light in the wilderness tabernacle as it continued to be in all future Temples except for the annual glowing of the Shechinah glory visitation in the Holiest of Holies.

He was commanded to build a sanctuary according to the "heavenly" pattern. It was to contain such imagery as the candlestick, a table of shewbread, altars, the ark of the covenant, golden cherubims of glory, angelic figurines embroidered on the inner curtains of the sanctuary and many other items that Moses had seen in his heavenly vision.

The Menorah an ever present symbol of truth - the Light of Christ. "The Lamp of  God" - the Menorah is a timeless symbol of eternity.  God is eternal and determining our path can be eternal.

The Menorah was not referred to as the "Lamp of the Jews" or the "Lamp of the Temple" nor the "Lamp of the Synagogue" but the "Lamp of God". Because it was God who designed it, had it constructed, and commanded its use (Ex 25:31, Number 8:2-4).

Lamp of God the Word of God

The Lamp of God, which is the Word of God (Psa. 119:105) and our understanding of it.  If when we are perplexed in life, the Word of God is a light to the pathway for direction.  Even though today, the hebrew heritage has been so eroded over time starting back approximately 400 AD during the time of Constantine.  The light of God shall the kingdom of heaven likened unto ten virgins - being ready and in season.

The Ten Virgins
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. . . .While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. ... And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. (Mt 25:1,2,5,8).

There was a time when a woman was being betrothed, she did not know when the bridgegroom was ready and come after her.  She had to be ready and prepared to leave at any notice.  Jesus will come at a twinkle of an eye and the church will be taken out so we must be ready.

If we are to shine forth as lamps in a world of darkness as Jesus indicated (Luke 12:35), God's word must become very precious to us and an accelerated understanding of it a high priority. Apathy toward truth is undoubtedly one of the subtle sins of our time.  In Revelations it talks about the 7th church being in apathy.

Lets look at the vision Zechariah had: And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: . . .Then he answered  and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel,[the restorer] saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zech. 4:2,6).

The Menorah symbolizes the seven-fold spirit of God at work in the restoration efforts taking place in Jerusalem.

It is only through a complete seven-fold anointing that doctrinal unity and maturity can be brought to the body of Christ to insure our success in God's purposes. The restoration was symbolized by the candlestick.

After captivity in Babylon, the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalum and the temple of God and the anointing of the church to proclaim the gospel to the nations (Mt. 24:14) and bring the restoration of all things.

The Menorah symbol such as the cross, the lamb, the dove or the fish that are of common use throughout Christendom today.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. ( Mt. 5:14-17)

The church here is represented by the symbol of the candlestick. The lesson is that the Church must become the light of the world (a reflection of the Word of God). The book of Revelation gives substantial affirmation to this assertion when the angel states:

... the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20) with our Lord walking up and down the isles of the church.

The spirit of Love is central to the very essence and nature of God as is demonstrated in the symbolism of the candlestick. The center lamp of the Menorah is, in Hebrew, called the Ner Elohim the "Lamp of God" as well as Shamash. Since the scriptures teach that "God is love" (1 Jo 4:8), one might even call this center light the "Love Lamp" amidst the seven.

Today, there seems to be a bridge connecting the gentiles with the Jews. An awakening to the roots of Judism and the symbolic meanings.

The Seven Spirits

Finally, we see seven flames of fire, a heavenly Menorah as it were, blazing before the throne in heaven:

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev. 4:5)

What are the seven spirits of God and what is their mission? Isaiah the prophet is very specific on this point:

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. (Isa 11:2)

The purpose for mentioning these seven spirits ablaze before the throne of God is to show that the principles of the candlestick are also manifested in the heavenlies. For the Church to be a living lampstand in the earth, and the light on a "candlestick" that Jesus predicted (Mt 5), all of these seven spirits of God must be burning in our personal lives, as well as in the corporate Church. The seven-branched candlestick was given to constantly remind us of that important truth. Even a casual observer of the scripture must draw that conclusion.

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev 5:6)

Liturgy of lights

Pastor: And I saw seven spirits of God burning before the throne!

Congregation: The Spirit of Love (Lord)

The Spirit of Wisdom

The Spirit of Understanding

The Spirit of Counsel

The spirit of Knowledge

The spirit of Strength

(and) The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord


Corporate: Jesus is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Now we are the light of the world!

We will shine forth as lights in a world of darkness!

Lord Jesus Christ, you are our light and our salvation! Amen!

(Ref. from Rev. 4:5, Isa. 11:1-2, Jn. 1:9, Mt. 5:14, Ph. 2:15, Ps 27:1)

The Menorah can be effectively used at wedding ceremonies, infant dedications, home dedications, the dedication of a business or any other occasion where a declaration of the seven spirits of God would be appropriate.

The candlestick is the Biblical symbol of the Church.

Thoughts About The Cross To Think About

While the preaching of the cross and its message is indeed "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16), so horrible was the scene at the cross, that the Heavenly Father could not bring Himself to look upon it. Therefore it is possibly doubtful that Jesus, if He was on earth, would encourage the historic emphasis and high profile we have placed on the emblem of the cross. For the Christians it is very symbolic what the Lord did for us on the Cross. Although the message of sacrifice and redemption would have remained the same. Indeed, it is entirely possible that He would even discourage its being excessively displayed.

To reach the Jews to the Lord, the menorah can be used to bridge relationship to bring them to the cross.

The cross represents the excruciating torment our Lord and Savior endured for us "endured the cross despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). What is interesting is the cross is so glaringly missing, indeed totally absent, from the abundance of symbolism to be found in the book of the "Revelation of Jesus Christ." It is simply nowhere there to be found. It makes you wonder why the cross is not even mentioned but the menorah is - the seven lampstands since Jesus is the Light of the World.

The seven lampstands represents the church and the church age. The seventh church is possibly where the church is today.

On the other hand, He would no doubt be heartened and thrilled at the sight of the golden candlestick, which is so profoundly meaningful in the revelation of who He is in the power of His resurrection and the light of His presence. Something not really taught in the church today since the time of Constantine. As we more fully appreciate the significance of this magnificent symbol, we will join with the angel to declare "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord" (Zec 4:6).

Jesus said that we were to be the "light of the world." And that we were to put our light on a candlestick (Mt. 5:15). Could it be that the candlestick would surpass the cross as the symbol for representing the Christian church? Probably not, but at the very least, it should be included.

by: Traci Morin
Servant and Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Touch of God Healing Ministries (a healing and deliverance ministry located in Dallas, Texas). If you live in the Dallas area, come to Set Free Bible Study and start your journey of healing!

Follow iTidings7 on Twitter

If you are not saved, please look to get saved because time is short.

See the Love of God Videosand learn how much the Father of Heaven Loves you.

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The Sabbath Rest

There are two important things to consider here. Number one, the Sabbath was given to Israel as the 'sign' of an everlasting Covenant between God and His people in remembrance that it was God who sanctified them (Exodus 31:13-16), and because they should remember God's work in bringing them out of the bondage of Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:13-15). And number two, it was instituted as a day of rest from their labours (Exodus 31:17), coinciding with and commemorating God's rest from His. It was to be observed on the seventh day (saturday), and was to be a Holy day wherein their work would cease.


Matthew 5:17
  • "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil".
The law was completed or fulfilled. This is what so many theologians do not understand. Christ didn't do away with the old testament laws, He was that to which those laws pointed. He is the fruition of them.
Luke 24:44
  • "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
Christ fulfilled these old covenant laws which pointed to Him. We now celebrate Christ (the passover Lamb) by the communion service in remembrance of his broken body. In other words, we now recognize that the law of Moses in actual sacrificing of an animal, was merely an old testament 'sign' pointing to the real sacrifice of his body. And with the coming of the real, our eyes are upon it and not any longer upon the 'sign' looking forward to it. We are now looking backward. i.e., the old testament law of the 'passover sacrifice' looked forward to the broken body of Christ, the 'communion service' looks back at the broken body of Christ. The method of observance has changed, but the observance has not. In Christ, we keep the law of the passover forever. The blood of the passover lamb in the true, shed once, and for all.

Likewise the law of the Gifts, the Temple, the Scapegoat, the Altar, the High Priest, the Sabbath, the Atonement, etc., they were all mere shadows of the true. They were not the true, but a shadow thereof. We can see this illustrated in the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 8:2-5
  • A Minister of the Sanctuary, and of the True Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.
  • For every High Priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
  • For if He were on earth, He should not be a Priest, seeing that there are Priests that offer gifts according to the law:
  • Who serve unto the Example and a Shadow of heavenly things."
Hebrews 10:1-2
  • "for the LAW having a Shadow of good things to come, and not the
  • Very Image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."

Exodus 31:13
  • "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you."
It was a sign or signification between God's children and Him that they know they are sanctified or made Holy by God. Again, something which can only happen in Christ as they are delivered from the bondage of sin.
Colossians 1:22
  • "In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
Matthew 28:1
  • "In the end of the Sabbaths, as it began to dawn towards the First of the Sabbaths, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the Sepulchre."
It was the end of the old testament Sabbaths, and the dawning of the new testament Sabbaths. In the 'translation' of your Bible it may read first of the 'week' (an unfortunate translation) but the word there is Sabbaths [sabbaton] from the root Hebrew word [Sabbath]. In that verse of Matthew 28:1, the two words, one translated 'week' and the other 'Sabbath,' are the identical words, the plural of [sabbaton]. i.e., Sabbaths! We can understand why translators made this error, as it doesn't 'seem' correct to say, 'in the end of the Sabbaths (plural), as it began to dawn towards the first of the Sabbaths (plural).' But when we understand that it was speaking of an end to the old testament era of Sabbaths and the beginning (dawn) of a new testament era of Sabbaths, it makes perfect sense. We can readily understand (though not condone) why they decided to translate one sabbaton as week and the other identical sabbaton as Sabbath (singular), but in the Greek they both are the identical plural words Sabbaths. This is confirmed by Greek scholars, and there is nothing in the Greek text itself which would promote the translating these same two plural Greek words for sabbaths, differently here.

In the New Testament epistles there are only 2 references to the Sabbath (Col.2:16; Heb.4:4), both these passages the apostle Paul clearly explains that the day is not a required day to be observed by Christians. To the Hebrews in the Old Covenant they were under obligation in the New Covenant neither Jews nor gentiles are. There is no command after the death and resurrection for the Church to keep the Sabbath as an obligation to Christ.

Why not. Hosea 2:11: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her New Moons, her Sabbaths-- all her appointed feasts.” Here we have God himself saying these will come to an end, he is the cause of it. This is not an permanent end, and can be applied to Israel in her captivity or it can certainly fit in with the New Testament dispensation. Didn’t Jesus keep the Sabbath? Yes, but for what reason? He was born under the law and kept all the law, if He violated even the smallest point he would have been disqualified to be the messiah. He would have become a transgressor and a sinner like us. Gal.4:4 says, “God sent forth his son, made of a woman, born under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” Jesus was the only one who kept it perfectly. There are many who make an issue of Jesus being our example so we should imitate him in everything. Well, Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day, he observed all the feast days, He also kept the entire law of Moses (613  commands). He never married, never had a permanent home. He also was very bold standing up to those who challenged the Word and His teaching. In His miracles He walked on water, healed people of organic diseases instantly and resurrected many. Can we really use only the Sabbath as a means of following him and discard the rest. The point is that he kept all the law even the smallest parts including what is called the law of Moses that was applicable to him (ceremonial, civil, dietary, etc. Certain portions of the law Jesus was not under, such as sacrifices for sin).   Do law keepers keep the 613 commands? The Jews did.
 Didn't Paul keep the Sabbath? He went into the Jewish synagogues to preach to the Jews on their Sabbath day in Acts.13:14-43, 17:2, 18:4. He kept it as a custom to the Jews but it was not an obligation. We need to make a distinction of the reason why it was kept not just that it was observed. In Acts 13:42-43, They did not go to worship by obligation under the law but simply for the reason that this was the best means of reaching their brethren. Paul and Barnabas had the freedom to assemble any day they had wished. As they congregated together in the temple they invited Paul and Barnabas to come back the following Sabbath to speak to them more about the Gospel, many of the Jews and Gentile proselytes to Judaism followed them Paul and Barnabas admonished them to hold fast to the grace of God. Now where is grace found? In Christ, verses 44-52 Paul and Barnabas returned the following Sabbath to preach the Gospel to nearly all the inhabitants of Antioch, who were anticipating to hear their message. But they were met with stiff opposition from other Jews and Gentile converts to Judaism from the city. They became very jealous of their success with the people, so they expelled Paul and Barnabas from the area. It wasn’t the law Acts 13 that was being preached, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, grace, of which they began training them in. this is not any proof that they kept the Sabbath under the New covenant. Paul gives us the reason why he kept the law in 1 Cor.9:19-20: “For though I am free from all men, yet I have made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law (the Jews), as under the law, that I might win those under the law . To those who are without a law (not being without a law toward god but under the law toward Christ) I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Simple answer, he made it clear he was not under the law but purposely put himself under it to reach those who were. Paul placed himself in many different situations, as one under the law (including the Sabbath) so he could reach the Jews with the Gospel. He became all things to all men so that he could present the gospel of grace, the only means of salvation. Paul’s model of evangelism was to the Jew first until they rejected his message; he then turned to the Gentiles.
There is no record of Christians congregating outside the temple of Jews on the Sabbath, only in the temple. This mix was those who believed and those who did not. Certainly believers do not worship along with those who do not. What makes this interesting is that there are no more references to keeping the Sabbath after Acts 18:4-7. This makes one wonder with the church becoming more Gentile than Jewish this fact would certainly be addressed in Acts 15 or the epistles if wrong, but it is not. Certainly it would have been presented as an opportunity for correction as the gentiles were entering the Church. Since they would not be familiar with worshipping on the Sabbath day as the custom of Judaism. In Acts 15 this letter is written to address the essential things required for the fellowship of Jewish and Gentile Christians together. The keeping of the weekly Sabbath, or the observance of any feast day, are not mentioned. There is no command of eating clean and unclean foods, only a command to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, food containing blood, and food resulting from animal strangulation. This letter to the Gentile Christians was written by the guidance of the Holy Spirit through Jewish Christian elders who counseled together in the Jerusalem Church.
Their conclusion was “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? Acts 15:9: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Vs.21 “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath (Acts 15:24-25) Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, 'You must be circumcised and keep the law'-- to whom we gave no such commandment!”No such commandment, why? Because they were under a new covenant.
The epistles were mostly corrective letters reinforcing what was taught in person by the apostles and to add further revelation to what had already been taught. There was absolutely no warning against Sunday worship that would be construed as pagan worship. In fact we find it is the very opposite, they were given freedom where they did not have before. Col.2:16 mentions not to judge on days, and Romans 14:6 says that we can pick whatever day we want to observe to the Lord.
From the primordial Church there was a transition (Acts 20:7). The writings show the early Jewish Christians kept both without any conflict, not like there is today. There was no challenge on this, unlike circumcision and the law that became a huge issue.
They along with the apostle Paul believed Rom. 10:4: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” By trusting in Christ's work the law is fulfilled perfectly. Christ is the end Greek- telos meaning he is the goal of its intent. he completed it and we enter into what he did by faith. Some questions to ask yourself, who or what did the apostles preach, a day or the death and resurrection of the Savior? What saves someone? This is the message of the NT. There are three options, you can keep the Sabbath day and never be saved by Christ. You can be saved by Christ and never keep the Sabbath day or you can be saved and keep the Sabbath day by personal choice, but you cannot say for one to be saved they MUST keep the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is Elohim's sign, the seal of his authority and his mark of ownership on the believer.  It was given by Elohim at creation to benefit mankind whom he had created in His image.  Elohim wants all men to benefit from his plan to give them rest and fellowship every seventh day.
The Sabbath was properly observed by Messiah and his disciples.  The book of Hebrews strongly exhorts all believers to join Elohim in his seventh day rest as a precursor to joining Elohim in His kingdom rest.  Those who refuse to rest on the seventh day are like the Israelites of old who hardened their hearts against Elohim's way.  Ultimately, refusal to obey Elohim will result in Elohim rejecting the stubborn ones from entrance to his eternal kingdom.
Let it be so that all who love Messiah and are covered by his atoning blood will join the Master and Savior in resting on the seventh day of the week in humble obedience to Elohim's loving plan for each one of us.

The Ten Virgins

Ten Virgins - Why 5 made it and why 5 did not make it.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused (betrothed) you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

We serve a jeolous God because He loves us and we are the work of His creation.

Time is short and this is not the time to be playing with sin.  Sin will separate you from the father but the father, king of the universe, sent his son so that we have access to the father through Jesus Christ through repentance of our sin.

When you look at the story of the ten virgins, they were jewish women or could be women of today.  Five were ready and five were not.  They loved the Lord but why did only five (5) make it?  First, the ten virgins were all “members of the Church”.

Doesn't a bride prepare for her wedding?  Yes. 

Are we all the bride of Christ?  Yes

If we are the bride of Christ what are you doing to prepare yourself for the bridegroom?  He is coming soon but you don't know when. 

How does a child of God prepare for the bridegroom spiritually?  By spending time with the Lord and not be caught up with the ways of the world.  He says he has many mansions prepared.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2D3)


Matthew 25:1–4, 8–12


1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.


2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

How do we prepare for the Savior’s Second Coming?


In these last days, the Lord has said, “Be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom” (D&C 33:17).
Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store.

Why were the foolish maidens turned away after the door was shut?

First, lets look at the oil. 

Olives are first soaked in water to clean them and purge them of their bitterness, and then they are crushed to extract their oil. Olive oil, produced throughout the Mediterranean region, had multiple uses anciently: food, cooking oil, condiment, treatment for wounds, ingredient in cosmetics and soaps, and fuel for lamps.


The oil in the parable represents our faith and testimony, our purity and dedication, our good works, and our keeping of covenants—all of the ways in which we have “taken the Holy Spirit for our guide”
The wise virgins could not share their oil with the foolish virgins because the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.

Lets put it another way.

When you are married to your husband, you have intimacy.  You come together as woman and man and pruduce in the nature the fruit of intimacy - a child.

Believers need to learn to become intimate with the Lord to know Him and be woed by Him.  When you are intimate with the Lord, the Lord shares you secrets to you, He gives you revelation of His word and prepares your heart and mind for the tribution and suffering the church must go through to be prepared for the bridegroom. 

Yes, tribution.  Something that is not taught in the church today.  All believers have to go through suffering to be tested and to produce fruit.

John 15:2. There we read: "Every branch of mine that bears no fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."


He wants a bride that produces much fruit.  Times are hard and the only way to survive this time is not to be caught up with Washington or world events - meaning not be overly concerned.  We need to be caught up with our spiritual goverment.

Think of it this way.

The king needs people and land.  Israel has land and has people who have returned over 2000 years and now waiting for the king to rule and raign on earth. 

But, He needs a bride who is prepared.  Otherwise, if you are not prepared, the things of the world.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).


“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)



The two scriptures above talks about prayer and petitions but not to worry that He will take care of His Bride.

My question to you -- Are you ready.  Are you preparing and filling your lamp with oil through prayer, fasting and intimacy with the Lord to be prepared and strengthened and not blown away by the storms of life.

by: Traci Morin, Ordained minister, teacher, Public Speaker, Writer

Touch of God Healing Ministries (a healing and deliverance ministry located in Dallas, Texas). If you live in the Dallas area, come to Set Free Bible Study and start your journey of healing!

Follow iTidings7 on Twitter

If you are not saved, please look to get saved because time is short.

See the Love of God Videosand learn how much the Father of Heaven Loves you.

We are living stones

Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:22–25 that Y’shua [Jesus] is the Bridegroom and we are the


Bride of Messiah. The Bride has a dress that is without a spot or wrinkle – this dress is

made up of each “Living Stone” that forms the Bride of Messiah. Your End-time purpose is

to ensure that your marriage – ONE Living Stone – truly represents the calling …

• Of a special treasure,

• A royal priesthood and,

• A holy nation.
 
Retaking the Garden.


Mankind was given a mandate to “rule” the earth. Rulership, from a world system, means

that some are “bosses” and the rest are laborers … or even slaves.
 
We are called to be “set apart”. Your marriage must therefore look, sound, feel, different to


those in the world. We both therefore have to commit to the task of:

• Dressing the Garden and,

• Keeping the Garden.

The moment we have both of these two elements in action at the same time, we start to

retake the Garden of Eden.
 
What does it mean to “dress”?


Stong’s 5647: abad (712b); a prim. root; to work, serve:— become slaves(1), been slaves(1),

bondage(2), burdened(2), cultivate(7), cultivated(2), cultivates(1), do(6), do the work(1),

enslaved(3), given(1), holding in bondage(1), imposed(1), keep(2), labor(3), laborers (2), make

servant(1), make slaves(2), manufacturers(1), observe(1), perform(9), performed(2), plowed(1),

rendered(1), serve(141), served(52), serves(2), serving(5), slave(1), slaves(1), subject(1), till(1),

tiller(1), tiller(1), tills(2), use as slaves(1), used(1), uses services(1), work(7), worked(2),

workers(2), working(1), worship(7), worshipers(6).
 
“Abad” means:


• To work in any sense,

• To serve and become a servant,

• To be a worshipper.

To dress the garden of your marriage means that you will be 100% committed to serve as

an act of worshipping God at the time, irrespective of the circumstances!
 
What does it mean to “keep”?


Strong’s 8104: shamar (1036b); a prim. root; to keep, watch, preserve:— attend(4), being

careful(1), beware(8), bodyguard (1), careful(32), careful to keep(1), cares(1), charge(4),

confine(1), confined(1), defending(1), did(1), diligently keep(1), doorkeeper(1), doorkeepers(4),

gatekeepers(1), give heed(2), giving heed(1), guard(20), guarded(7), guards(4), guardsmen(1), have

charge(1), heed to yourself and keep(1), heeds(1), hoarded(1), indignant(1), keep(156), keeper(8),

keepers(2), keeping(10), keeps(19), kept(38), kept watch(2), maintained(1), mark(2), observe(30),

observed(6), observes(1), observing(1), officers(2), pay attention(1), perform(3), performed(1),

performing(2), preserve(5), preserved(3), preserves(6), protect(4), protects(1), regard(3), regards(2),

remains(1), reserved(1), secured(1), sentries(1), spare(1), spies(1), take care(1), take heed(5), take

note(1), take...heed(1), waiting(1), waits(1), watch(11), watched(1), watches(3), watching(3),

watchman(4), watchmen(7).
 
“Shamar” means:


• To build a fence or a hedge, as with thorns,

• To protect,

• To narrowly observe, and be a watchmen.

To keep the garden of your marriage means that you will always be alert to:

• Strategies from the kingdom of darkness.

• Attractions from the world system.

• The serpent – in whatever form he materializes – when he comes to ask … “did

God say?”
 
We need to clarify.


Men, due to their physical strength and abilities, need to focus on:

• Providing,

• Protecting,

• And so forth.

Women, due to their strengths and abilities to nurture, need to focus on:

• Nurturing,

• Mothering,

• And so forth.
 
What we speak of here is the joint responsibility of both partners who labor to present the


union of ONE Living Stone, radiant and pure before the Lord. Often we find the symbolism

of the Shepherd that looks after sheep. As a union of two like-minded people, we too are

ONE shepherd …

• Looking after the integrity and purity of the marriage.

• Looking after the “harvest” of the union (sons and daughters).

• Looking after the “seed” ensuring that it still reflects the attributes of the Kingdom of

God.

As ONE shepherd – both husband and wife – need to be equipped to handle every

circumstance. How do we do this? Every shepherd needs the following equipment:
 
1. We carry a staff.


The staff represents our ability/willingness to:

• Pull others out of trouble spots.

• Guide others along a path of righteousness.

• To be a beacon of direction in a fast changing world.

• Show compassion to those who are weaker.
 
2. We carry a stick.


The stick is a stout piece of timber to be used to ward off any attack from dangerous

animals. In the spiritual realm this is represented by:

• The unconditional love that I give to my spouse and children and the ever-open

hands to welcome the lost back into the fold.

• The security that I make around the family by the manner in which each challenge

is dealt with.

• The shalom [peace] that I bring as I make sure that others always see themselves

as more important than “things”.

3. We carry a sling.

The sling was used to take up a position of battle and meant that oncoming “warfare” could

be stopped in its tracks. In the spiritual realm of the marriage this is represented by:

• The manner in which I go about doing spiritual warfare on behalf of the family.

• The petitions and intercession prayer sessions that are done in order to guide and

defend the family.
 
4. We carry a pouch.


The shepherd uses the pouch to keep life-giving food or medicines and herbs in so that

the sheep will always be strong. In the marriage this is represented by:

• How we wash each other with the Water of the Word.

• How we fast for specific needs.

• How we empower each other to reach for the realization of the dreams that God

has given us.

Entranc
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The groom enters with both parents and comes to stand before the chuppah. His father


blesses him, and the groom moves under the chuppah.

The bride then enters with both parents. Her father and mother speak a blessing.

Genesis 24:60 “60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, You are our sister; may

you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your posterity possess the

gate of their enemies (those who hate them).”

Just after the parents have blessed the bride, she turns towards the chuppah. The

bridegroom steps out from under the chuppah and lifts the veil to check if it’s his bride. He

makes sure that he is not getting the wrong sister like Jacob!

!



The bride will give a tallit to her bridegroom. The tallit has thirty-two strings. In the


Hebrew alphabet, the Hebrew word for “heart” also equals thirty-two. The tallit represents

protection against outside sexual temptation:

Numbers 15:39 “They shall be tassels for you, and you shall look at them and not be

tempted after your hearts and after your eyes.”

So what the bride is saying is … “I will cover your heart.”

The chuppah – which can be made from a tallit – is the covering under which a couple

stand for the marriage ceremony. This chuppah, which today is represented by a prayer

shawl, reflects the Glory of God.

Isaiah 4:5 “5 And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of

Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a

flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defence of divine love and

protection).“

Isaiah 43:7 “7 Even everyone who is called by My Name, whom I have created for My

glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.”

159
 
The chuppah is a declaration of the intent of the couple. Firstly, the chuppah has four


poles. These are held up by four men of integrity and value. Four friends of the couple who

have made the commitment to stand with and for them. Secondly, the chuppah represents

their home. It has open sides all the way around – signifying that they are transparent, that

their home is open for all, that they are humble and that their home is open for God to

come in and dwell.
 
Consecration of %eir lov$


The lightning of the three candles is to symbolize:

• Firstly, it indicates that we have the Light of Y’shua [Jesus] in our lives and we are

prepared to witness to that.

• Secondly, we also indicate to the congregation that two family bloodlines are joining

to create ONE new bloodline.

• Thirdly, we show the world that we are not a separate couple on our own but that

we are part of a family, a community.

Lighting of three candles is performed by:

• The bridegroom and his family light one candle,

• The bride and her family light another candle,

• And the final – middle – candle is lit by both the bridegroom and bride.

!

Before the witnesses, the bridegroom will share a cup of the covenant with his bride as he


asks her to marry him, just as Y’shua [Jesus] did in Luke 22:20, where He answered on

the promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8-10. The bridegroom drinks and gives

the cup to his bride, and then to his whole family. The significance of the whole family is

that the couple recognizes and honors the family as a community. When the bride drinks of

the cup, she shows that she has accepted the proposal.

!

Typically the “pastor” or rabbi will speak or perhaps give a sermon. After this the bride will


encircle her bridegroom seven times. This custom symbolizes:

• The seven days of creation,

• The home the couple will create together,

• The wall of protection the bride will create around her groom.

The bride will then put the ring on the forefinger of her right hand. She will show the

witnesses. This is a remembrance of Moses blessing to the people:

Deuteronomy 33:2-3 “2 He said, The Lord came from Sinai and beamed upon us from

Seir; He flashed forth from Mount Paran, from among ten thousands of holy ones, a

flaming fire, a law, at His right hand. 3 Yes, He loves [the tribes] His people; all those

consecrated to Him are in Your hand. They followed in Your steps; they [accepted Your

word and] received direction from You,”

The bridegroom will give something [typically a ring] of great value, just as Y’shua [Jesus]

gave us great value.
 
John 14:13 “13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as


presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the

Son.”

Points to remember regarding the rings:

• The ring must belong to the groom.

• It changes status of the bride. It also gives her authority, as in the same way as

Pharaoh gave his ring to Joseph.

• It is a milestone and memorial at all times – even the bad times – a symbol of

remembrance.

• Has no beginning and no end, and therefore represents the couple’s faith.

• Represent the union – the creative force – to extend God’s Commandment.

• Space inside is holy – sanctified.

Blessing over the rings:


“These rings will be a sign of their love and commitment which they make today and may

their marriage reflect God’s Message of the Bride of Messiah.”

Legal agreement.

The “pastor” or rabbi will ask the traditional questions – “do you take … ” The groom will

take the veil off from his bride, they will exchange rings, and then end the ceremony with a

kiss.

!e mar"a& contract … ' ketubah!

The ketubah – the written declaration of the groom’s intention to protect and care for his


bride – is read aloud in the presence of all the witnesses. The ketubah should be the

words of the groom’s heart, and should be a “special” marriage document for the bride to

keep and even frame.

Exodus 24:7 “7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the

people; and they said, All that the Lord has said we will do, and we will be obedient.”

This is equivalent to Moses and the people who keep the Word of God, physically and

spiritually.

!

Seven people of significance to the couple then speak words of blessing over the newly


married couple. This is to declare their purpose and destiny, and to proclaim blessings

over the couple. These prayers are an example of the principle to be prayed. Each one of

the seven friends or family members who steps up to pray should speak from their heart

and declare the Word.

1. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who has created everything for His

Glory. I pray that ____________ and _____________ will be blessed with humility,

gratitude and the Wisdom of God.

2. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who created humankind, Who

created _____________ and _____________ and Who blessed them with the Holy

Spirit and the gift of creativity to meet their purpose and destiny.

3. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who fashioned ______________

and ______________ in His Image and after His Own Likeness He created them

and prepared for Him, out of His Very Self, an Eternal Soul through Y’shua [Jesus],

and yet remembered the uniqueness of each one of them.
 

4. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who brings intense joy and

exultation to the mothers through the ingathering of their children. I pray that You

will bless _________________ and _____________ with fertility. Blessed are You,

our God, Who gladdens parents through their children.

5. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who makes these beloved

companions, _______________ and ________________, to greatly rejoice, as You

gladden Your creatures in the Garden of Eden. Blessed are You, our God, Who

gladdens the groom and bride, we pray that their love will hold and support them.

6. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who created joy and gladness,

groom and bride, mirth, happy songs, pleasure, delight, love, brotherhood, shalom

[peace] and companionship. May _____________ and _____________ be blessed

with these in abundance. I pray that the voice of gladness and joy will soon be

heard in every city and in Jerusalem when the voice of the Groom and Bride will

proclaim your complete salvation through Y’shua [Jesus] the Messiah.

7. Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who created the fruit of the vine. I

pray that Your Hand of provision will be extended to them and that the fruit thereof

will be blessed.

Rededication of your marriage
1. Read to each other the ketubah you have written.


2. Make a prophetic declaration of God’s Word. Bless each other from God’s Word …

and make your End-Time declaration.

168

At the marriage ceremony at Mount Sinai, God tells us:

• He has delivered us, taken us out of Egypt [the world], and has carried us out on

eagle’s wings.

Exodus 19:4 “4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on

eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

God says “if we obey” – are committed to the covenantal marriage – then …

Exodus 19:5 “5 Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant,

then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all

peoples; for all the earth is Mine.”

We reply and say “I do”.

Exodus 19:8 “8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord has

spoken we will do. And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.”

After this, God says …

“You will become … ”

Genesis 19:5-6 “ … 5 Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My

covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and

above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests,

a holy nation [consecrated, set apart to the worship of God]. These are the words you shall

speak to the Israelites.”

We choose to declare God’s Words of End-Time Purpose.

You have rededicated your marriage today – you have made God the Senior Partner in

this covenant.

You have declared “we will do and we will hear” – sh’ma – listen, understand, and

implement.

God says:

1. You are a segullah, a particular treasure, a wealthy jewel.

Strong’s 5459: segullah (688c); from an unused word; possession, property:— possession(5),

treasure(2), treasured possession(1).

We can say that you will be valuable diamond – a stone that has been formed in the heat

of tribulations, but you are protected from the system of this world.

As ONE Living Stone [marriage], you will reflect this as you journey in step to God’s Song

of Cycles, Seasons, and Feasts.

169

2. You are a kingdom of priests.

Strong’s 4428: melek (572d); from an unused word; king:— King(253), king(1730), King’s(6),

king’s(241), kingdom(1), Kings(41), kings(241), kings’(2), royal(5).

• You have dominion,

• You reign as kings,

• You are the principle officers.

We can say that your position of authority has been allocated, and your territory has been

demarcated.

As ONE Living Stone [marriage], you will reflect this through the evidence that you sh’ma

[hear, do, and keep] God’s Commandments and Directions.

3. You are a holy nation.

Strong’s 6918: qadosh (872c); from the same as 6944; sacred, holy:— consecrated(1), Holy(8),

holy(50), Holy One(44), holy one(3), holy ones(6), one is holy(1), saints(2).

Strong’s 1471: goy (156c); from the same as 1458; nation, people:— every nation(2),

Gentiles(1), Goiim(1), Harosheth-hagoyim (3), herds(1), nation(120), nations(425), people(4).

Qadosh [holy] Goy [nation]

Sacred, Foreign nation,

Saintly, Gentile,

Sanctuary Troop

We can say that even though you were previously a Gentile and foreigner to the covenant,

that your holy lifestyle has turned your ONE Living Stone into a sacred sanctuary where

God’s Presence can dwell.

As ONE Living Stone [marriage], you will reflect this as you show God’s Light of love,

faithfulness, and shalom [peace] as a reflection to all of the pagan nations around you.

In sealing this rededication, we encourage you as a couple to partake of communion. And

then …

Dance! Celebrate with joy!

Rejoice as ONE before the LORD!

River of Life Family Church, Vanderbijlpark


Pastor Edward Gibbens

Contact: Sharmain Joubert

Personal Assistant to Pastors Edward and Dalene Gibbens

River of Life Family Church

Vanderbijlpark

South Africa
e send off!
e mar"a& contract … ' ketubah
e mar"a& ceremony
e proposal … sanctification.
e ceremony.

by: Traci Morin, ordained minister, preacher, teacher, christian public speaker, writer
us ChristTouch of God Healing Ministries (a healing and deliverance ministry located in Dallas, Texas). If you live in the Dallas area, come to Set Free Bible Study and start your journey of healing!

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Boaz Means Piller

Boaz Name Means Pillar


\ Boaz is of Hebrew origin. Possibly "swiftness" or "strength like a pillar". Biblical: names of several characters, including the second husband of Ruth, who treats her generously. Revived by the Puritans and occasionally used in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Now very rare. Sometimes used in Jewish families.

Story is under construction at this time but in the process.

The story of Boaz and Ruth.

Boaz’s name n hebrew: pillar of strength – and became was the Bridegroom of Ruth – Isaiah the prophet wrote, “For your Maker is your husband, the LORD Almighty is His name” (Isa. 54:5). Let’s look further, God protected the Israelites in the desert from the Egyptions by becoming a pillar of fire. The Lord protected Israel since their heritage was one day to produce the coming King Jesus. Boaz protected Ruth the moabite  from molestation by the farm hands.
God protected Israel and Boaz represented redemption as the kinsman redeemer for Ruth the Moabite. Who later Jesus became the kindsman redeemer for all mankind through that bloodline.

Going further, King Solomon named one of the pillars of the temple Boaz.  The entrance to God was going through the door first passing the pillars.

The Jachin pillar (meaning Yah establishes) is King Solomon, and the Boaz pillar (meaning strength) is King David. And these two were Israel’s most illustrious kings and also the ones mostly responsible for planning and/or building the Jewish Temple. Both kings are messianic figures. All that follows is explanatory.

To find the relation between the names of the pillars and these two kings, we must travel an additonal route. For a description of the pillars, see 1 Kings 7:15 - 22 and 2 Chronicles 3:16, 17.

In I Chronicles 17:1 King David expresses a desire to build God a house (temple) but the Lord gently declines the offer, v.3, telling him that, instead, his son (Solomon) will build it; and through his son, David’s  dynasty and kingdom will be “established,” a word used five time in vv. 17:9 - 14 in the Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh, and five more in 2 Samuel  7:10 -16. Therefore, Solomon is the establisher.


Solomon makes various Temple vessels, including the twin bronze pillars Jachin and Boaz.  The name Cun is etymologically related to Jachin (Yakin). Cun means establish or stand upright, while Jachin (Yakin, Yah-kin) means Yah establishes. Yah is a contraction for Yahweh, God’s name. Hence, establish links Cun, Jachin, and Solomon, who was also named Jedidyah, beloved of Yah . If so, is Tibbath also possibly linked to David?

Jesus is our strength and passes through our bodies to our heart.

By Traci Morin, Ordanined Minister, Preacher, Teacher, Minister, Christian Speaker, Writer

Touch of God Healing Ministries Dallas